1. What is Microsoft YouthSpark?
    Microsoft YouthSpark is a companywide initiative to create opportunities for 300 million youth around the world. Microsoft YouthSpark empowers youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment, and entrepreneurship, helping them create real impact for a better tomorrow. For more information about YouthSpark visit: http://www.microsoft.com/youthspark
  2. Why has Microsoft partnered with GlobalGiving as part of YouthSpark?
    Donors throughout the world increasingly seek more specificity as they make their giving decisions. Many nonprofit organizations and social enterprises serve this market effectively, but no common online platform aggregates such giving opportunities, provides feedback to donors, and tracks stories of progress.
  3. What is the relationship between Microsoft, YouthSpark and GlobalGiving?
    YouthSpark is Microsoft's commitment to empower 300 million young people with opportunities for education, employment, and entrepreneurship. GlobalGiving is partnering with Microsoft to provide Microsoft employees and the general public with a portal, GlobalGiving.org, for making direct contributions to projects and microprojects all over the world. Projects and microprojects on GlobalGiving that are marked as YouthSpark participants support youth (ages 6-24) in their quest to obtain the tools and resources they need to find a job, continue their education and training, or start a business or social venture.

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Participating Organizations

  1. How were organizations selected for participation in YouthSpark on GlobalGiving?
    Initially, non-profit organizations were selected by Microsoft and GlobalGiving for participation in YouthSpark due to a pre-existing relationship; youth focus; and programming related to youth employment, education and entrepreneurship. On an ongoing basis, as of November 2013, all GlobalGiving projects and microprojects will be eligible for inclusion in YouthSpark programs on GlobalGiving.org when (a) their implementing organization's due diligence materials are up to date; (b) they are active and support youth (ages 6-24) in the areas of education, employment, and/or entrepreneurship; and (c) they have been identified as a YouthSpark partner by Microsoft or they are implemented by an organization that has a GlobalGiving Partner Rewards status of Leader or Superstar. All organizations and projects were vetted through GlobalGiving's due diligence process.
  2. What does participation in YouthSpark enable organizations on GlobalGiving to do?
    There will be campaigns hosted on GlobalGiving from time to time during which YouthSpark partner projects and microprojects will be eligible for matching funds and various other rewards from Microsoft.
  3. How can I nominate an organization to be included in YouthSpark?
    If there is an organization you would like to nominate for inclusion in YouthSpark programs on GlobalGiving.org, you can recommend a project or organization for GlobalGiving any time. If you work for the organization you wish to recommend, please complete this self-nomination form instead.
  4. What is GlobalGiving's vetting process, and how do I know the project leader of a project or microproject is trustworthy?
    GlobalGiving works with partners─established, reputable, nongovernmental organizations─and vets organizations to ensure they are high quality, well-run, and satisfy IRS guidelines for international grantmaking, as well as the voluntary guidelines for anti-terrorism set forth in the USA PATRIOT Act. As part of its vetting process, GlobalGiving requires detailed background information on each organization's objectives, budgets, expected outcomes once the project/microproject receives funding, and organizational information such as financial statements for the organization.

    In addition, organizations listed do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, or mental or physical disability or any other status prohibited by applicable law.
  5. What is a microproject?
    A microproject is a one-time fundraising effort to help achieve a specific activity or outcome. Microprojects can either benefit specific people or an activity with a reasonably small amount of funding. A microproject is posted for 90 days and is limited to a budget of $250 to $10,000. Specifically, YouthSpark microprojects support youth (ages 6-24) in their quest to obtain the tools and resources they need to find a job, continue their education and training, or start a business or social venture.
  6. What is a parent project?
    A parent project is a general project to which microprojects are connected. Parent projects will collect any recurring fees originally intended for a microproject after the microproject is fully funded. This ensures your recurring donation is still received by the organization. Parent projects do not have the same funding restrictions as microprojects and act just as other projects listed on GlobalGiving.org. They are required to post progress reports every three months to keep donors up to date on the progress of the project. Any projects participating in the YouthSpark program will similarly support youth (ages 6-24) in their quest to obtain the tools and resources they need to find a job, continue their education and training, or start a business or social venture.
  7. How do I choose a microproject that is right for me?
    On GlobalGiving, you have access to information about YouthSpark projects and microprojects around the globe. You can read about each projects' or microprojects' needs, beneficiaries, activities, accomplishments to date, and future goals. You may search for something specific or browse by topic or region. See the full list of YouthSpark projects.
  8. How does the money get to the chosen organization?
    Every month, we compile all the funds a microproject or project has raised and send them to the implementing organization by its choice of disbursement: check, wire transfer, FXecute, or carrier pigeon (just kidding about that last one!). One more important thing to note: If a project run by an internationally-registered organization has raised less than $250 in a month, we'll hold on to the funds until the organization has raised more than $250 before we disburse the funds. It's less expensive for the receiving organization this way.
  9. How do I keep track of the progress of the projects and microprojects?
    Each donor is added to a mailing list specific to the project or microproject to which he/she has given. Whenever a project leader posts an update to that project or microproject, each donor will automatically receive notification of that progress report. Donors will also receive corresponding parent project reports of the microproject to which they have given. These parent project reports are sent at least four times a year.

    In addition, every donor has a choice of becoming known to the project leader or remaining anonymous. For donors who choose to become known to the project leader, the donor's contact information is provided to the project leader, so they may receive updates directly from the microproject. In addition, each microproject includes the contact information of the project leader, which allows donors to establish a relationship with those running the microproject and to follow its progress.
  10. Is there a Microsoft YouthSpark logo that I can use?
    Yes, you can download a copy of the Microsoft YouthSpark logo. Note that you should only proportionally resize the image (e.g. do not stretch it).

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